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Debra Quartermain Design
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 the CEO! Creative Eternal Optimist! Blog 
Tuesday, September 04 2012


I have been neglecting my blog since I moved, upsizing and embarking on new ventures in a historic home has been a delgihtful hectic adventure so far. I love the place more each day.

However now the fall begins and new resolve to get back into my virtual routine. Last week I travelled to Cleveland to film a segment of Quilting Arts with host Pokey Bolton. It was a wonderful experience and everyone was so nice. Pokey is amazing shooting segment after segment with different guests with only a quick run through. Her knowledge of techniques and products was very impressive!

I admit to being more nervous with this taping as I had to handle everything not with "kid gloves" but rubber ones! I had practiced but it was slightly clumsy still and slightly messy.

The segment will air sometime in winter 2013.With being away again on the weekend I missed the Designer Craft Connection Blog Hop, the theme was crafting with vintage items. With sewing close to my heart and a love of pin cushions Michelle Frae Cummings vintage pin cushion with trim was a favorite. She shares a tutorial, quick and easy to make!

With pins being so highly valued and precious, places to keep them were equally important. Many a creative seamstress sewed up a pin book or the iconic tomato pin cushion to keep the needle safe, sharp and rust free. I like dress forms almost as much as pin cushions so I created a dress form  pin cushion!

How do you llike to keep your pins and needles safe or off the floor!


Posted by: Debra Quartermain AT 12:39 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, June 22 2012



I have always believed Life is simply a love story, it is through loving, caring and sharing we connect with the world. It gives life meaning, value amd richness. This photo from the Sculpture Garden at Kingsbrae Gardens in St. Andrews speaks of love so simple and yet so expressive. We just see love, feel it and know it captured by the shape and placement of four rocks. How wonderful is that!

In visiitng the gardens over many summers from the beginning has been a true gift. The beautiful garden arbor was quite bare for the first few years but now is glorious! To wander through it was lovely this year.



Kingsbrae Gardens has evolved, grown with the years and the seasons, creating a space with all of nature's bounty, with woodland trails, formal gardens, water features, children's fantasy hideaways, animals, whimsical and striking sculpture all set high on a hill with the ocean breeze constant in the air! A place filled with creative inspiration! A joy! Happy weekend everyone!


Posted by: Debra Quartermain AT 07:35 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, June 20 2012



This past weekend I visited one of my very favorite places Kingsbrae Gardens in picturesque St. Andrews by the Sea. When my mother was alive we summered each year there by the ocean and my daughters grew up loving the ocean as much as I do. My mother and father met at a dance here on August 5th, 1949 and my Dad proposed less than two weeks later. Theirs was truly a love story.

It is here too where Irving Berlin, a poor composer at the time followed his love to where she summered as did many wealthy families in the sea air. He proposed in one of the gardens of a stately mansion and they were together over 60 years.

Each year my daughter Kate and I would go to the gardens, seeing the gardens as they bloomed anew. My watching her grow too with each season as did the special tree in the Secret Garden. This is where my photo was taken in the Secret Garden, I have missed being there for a couple years but travelled there this year with someone very special.

It was a perfect day, sunny and warm with a cool breeze from the ocean below. New sculptures have been added to the gardens, a new display titled "going with the wind" featured artists from across Canada. In homage to the Queen's Jubilee enjoy!



A variety of exquisite sculptures are set in the garden evocatively portrayed in the most perfect settings. It was truly a day I will never forget strolling through the gorgeous gardens, music coming from the hillside and hand in hand sharing a most glorious day! May you be inspired by the beautiful artistry!



Posted by: Debra Quartermain AT 07:50 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 13 2012

While in New Mexico we took a drive up to Santa Fe. So many beautiful shops, one of those with an outdoor market was arranged with thought to the art and the enviroment.

The softly striped pots played off the awnings. There is a magic in NM, the mountains magnify the brilliant blue sky. People who visit often return to live there.

Posted by: Debra Quartermain AT 12:38 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, February 08 2012

Early this morning I am off to tape segments of Creative Living with Sheryl Borden in Portales, New Mexico. This has been a whirlwind trip from CHA in Anaheim to flying to Albuquerque to prepare for show. Stepouts and instructions are ready. Outfit planned, no black and white so I chose a colorful dress to wear!

I am a little nervous and very excited to be showing techniques and designs featuring my sponsors, Westcott Brand, Makeitfun Crafts and National Nonwovens. I appreciate their support very much to be able to offer crafty and sewing inspiration!  Projects and instructions coming soon!

Meanwhile here is a sneak peak behind my scenes, my exploding suitcase and my entourage and assistant Fox the cat, I couldn't have prepared without his invaluable assistance!

Posted by: Debra Quartermain AT 01:50 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, August 18 2011

I have spent a few days surrounded by the enormous silence of tall forests, the Rocky mountains skirted with the azure ocean lit by the sun. Such beauty, it fills the spirit with a reverence for what this natural life offers. We spent the weekend on an island enjoying fabulous fresh foods from the sea and garden while overlooking the ocean. Good company, lively conversation and laughter, was wonderful!

After the island we headed up to Whistler, home of the winter Olympics and of course shopping in the village for the girls!

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 10:47 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, August 14 2011

On vacation with my girls, such a treat! We are in and about Vancouver visiting family. Been a long long time since the three of us have flown west together. One of my favorite spots is the beautiful walk along the sea wall to Granville Island where there is a wonderful market and many interesting artist shops and studios.

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 07:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 15 2010

I have been visiting sunny Petaluma CA the home of two of my favorite places Alvarado Street Bakery and Mrs. Grossman's Sticker Company. Last year I went on tours of both places, met Mrs. Grossman herself and wrote an article on their eco friendly manufacturing processes for Homearts magazine.

The company is located on the the banks of a park wetlands with large glass windows open to a beautiful view. When we arrived one of the employees was heading in with her dog. The place is bright, friendly and welcoming with tours given and a store on site. There is a big sale going on this week so I did stock up on some items. It is such a delight to visit and reconnect with the people I interviewed last year. It was a wonderful time spent in a lovely place that creates whimsical, fun, bright stickers and products. It all began with a heart sticker, one woman's vision at a kitchen table. Thank you Andrea Grossman!

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 07:54 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Saturday, November 13 2010

Travels take us many places and often beyond our destination. We see our world each day but when we travel it is a new world to be viewed with first time delight. I have found since moving that I am more aware of my surroundings. I think that taking a day on a regular basis to visit your life and environment can be both useful and inspiring. Maybe there are changes you want, things that are annoying or not a good fit anymore, visit your life for a day and see what it brings.

I am travelling to the ocean where I find my heart, my home, the waves call to me in a way that nothing else does. I do believe it comes from the summer my Mom pregnant with me swam in the ocean and lived on the beach, for her the happiest summer of her life, in love and glowing. I am so very fortunate to spend this birthday weekend at the ocean. Everything is possible when you have love in your life. Love & be loved, all I believe and know is "Life is simply a love story." Follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 12:14 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, August 04 2010

This past Canadian holiday weekend was spent in old Quebec, the beautiful and historic walled section of Quebec City with cobblestone streets, horse and carriage, outdoor cafes to linger at. We stayed at the Frontenac overlooking the water like a magical castle in the sky.

The weather was perfect. The family wedding took place in a gorgeous church, the oldest Anglican church in Canada. We stayed on an extra couple days exploring and enjoying the place. The buildings are beautiful dating back to the 1700's and earlier. The shops are inspiring featuring many talented artisans. This wood shop had the most delightful store front with colorful carved flowers in the the flower boxes.

The stone buildings are contrasted by doors and windows painted in rich vibrant shades and everywhere there are open windows with people enjoying good food or a drink. It was a wonderful romantic weekend and I look forward to returning to that magical place where time stands still. always Follow the JOY! Debra

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 09:26 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, May 17 2010

This week there is an abundance of travel going on, many artist and designer friends are in New York attending or exhibiting at the Surtex and National Stationery Shows. The end of the week is the Spring International Quilt Market tradeshow in Minneapolis which is also home of Creative Homearts Club and magazine that I write my Make it Green column for. I am so looking forward to visiting and seeing everyone! Exciting plans are in the works! Homearts goes live with 30 hour crafting extravaganzas in three cities in the fall. Editor Julie Stephani plus the columnists and crafting celebrities Drew, the Crochet Dude and Kathy Caron-Marillo, the Crafty Chica will be hosting the events. Open to Homearts members the weekends will be filled crafting fun, classes and goodies!

When I return I will have pics from both Quilt Market and my visit to Homearts!
Follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 02 2010

In November I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Mrs. Grossman's Sticker Company and Paragon Label in picturesque Petaluma, California. The company is featured in my latest "Make it Green' column for Creative Homearts magazine. I met both Andrea Grossman the founder and her son Jason, President. They could not have been more welcoming. In fact the moment you enter the building for a tour you are greeted by friendly employees and their dogs, life sized fun sticker characters on display and an atmosphere that is very special and inspiring. When I asked Andrea for a quote for my article she replied as she has for more than thirty years and her favorite quote will always be ???I love my job.???  I will be showing projects made with their gorgeous classy silhouette stickers later this week. The stickers were released at the CHA show in January.

The company that began with a single red heart sticker continues its tradition of always operating from the heart with care for the environment, its employees and its loyal customers. If you are in the area of the company make sure to go for a tour. They are the only sticker company in the country that offers a tour of their manufacturing facility plus they have a sticker museum and shop on site.


With Andrea Grossman & the Heart Sticker that began it all!


Decisions, decisions! Choosing stickers to design with.


Part of the busy design center at Mrs. Grossman's!


I am so very fortunate to work in an industry of incredibly wonderful creative and generous people. It is a true joy! Follow the JOY! Debra

Posted by: AT 09:03 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, December 08 2009

I returned yesterday from a week completely away from my online world, an unexpected spur of the moment invitation to go on the maiden cruise of the new Oasis of the Seas, the largest cruise ship ever built accommodating 5500 guests. This was my first cruise and I had the best time! The ship is amazing and very beautiful. There is an artist in residence onboard, the attention to detail in choosing pieces was very evident. We had a wonderful cabin with a deck on the ocean side and in our hallway was a fabric sculpture beaded piece of sea creatures. I noticed something different each time I went by the piece.

The artwork was sea or nature inspired captured in stunning light creations, sculpture, art, mixed media and photography, each stairway, landing revealed another piece. My second favorite piece were the metal gold and silver sculptured trees in the Promenade with beautiful butterflies floating among the branches.

Even though there were that many people onboard, approximately 5000 guests and 2000 crew there were many places to go that were still quiet and secluded onboard. In the cabin with glass doors to our ocean view deck it was so quiet except for the gentle sound of the water it felt like you were the only ones on the ship.

To take a week off at this time was something I had to think about and decide could I just go with a few days notice. What I have realized more than anything this past year is life is truly short, magic moments need to be taken and deeply enjoyed for tomorrow is an unknown yet today is a place to find the love, JOY, inspiration and al that makes the heart sing! I follow my heart always and this past week I dove into an ocean of wonder and JOY!

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 09:39 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Sunday, November 29 2009

Sometimes life brings unexpected moments, lately my life has been full of them. One of which is as I am typing this, earlier this evening my new kitten decided to pull keys off my laptop. The O and . are missing somewhere. I leave on an adventure tomorrow for the week without laptop. My goal was to post for the week but this is it!

What I do know is each day is truly a miracle, a day of life where anything and sometimes everything can happen. What we know and what we believe is transformed with each new day. May this week be an adventure for all with moments that take your breath away and that magic happens when you believe! Follow the JOY! Debra

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 11:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 23 2009

One of the best parts of my life is having several wonderfully creative and talented friends. For my birthday this year I received a most beautiful clay sculpture done by my dear friend Michelle Zimmerman, a collaboration gift by Michelle, Helen, Frank and Mindy. She bears a scar which is an integral part of her beauty apparently wishing to jump out of the oven before it was time. She is created from Kato Polyclay. To get her home safely I purchased a new purse while travelling just for her. The base is in my suitcase but Sebasstiania will travel in style, even get to watch a movie with me on the plane. I am going to enjoy having her company as I travel home! Follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!


Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 01:56 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, September 16 2009

My trip to Vancouver particularly Granville Island home to many artists, artisans and their studios was both inspiring and touching. It spoke to my spirit in a way that I had not experienced in a long time. The location along the water is beautiful and that I could walk from where I was staying along the sea wall set the pace and mood. I had time stretching before me and that contributed immensely. We are often always so busy that taking time to just wander and experience life at a slow pace does not happen very often. Making time for taking time!

As I had a couple leisurely delightful days on Granville Island I walked different routes each day and down the alleys in between the buildings once in a while. Near the Emily Carr Art University located on the island in an alley was a colorful handmade tree with leaves created by some students. It had a hand written note to just make a leaf and put it on the tree. The unexpected surprise of art in the alley and the colorful burst of creativity reminded me of the miraculous gift that creativity, artistic expression brings to the world and how it can show up in the most ordinary places making them extraordinary. The reality is how we see, really see anything, anyone, if we take the time there is creative expression and true beauty always before us and around us. On that perfect sunlit day in an alley where a tree blossomed I was reminded of the power of creative expression in our lives!

Follow the JOY! Keep Creating! Debra, CEO!

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 11:41 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Tuesday, August 25 2009
 After three trips in one month, all great but you know you have travelled a lot when you wake up and aren't sure where you are! Technical difficulties prevented me from posting my last couple of days away so I celebrate my first day at home with a final look at Granville Island in Vancouver and the wonderful people, places and surroundings who flavor it with creative flair and energy!

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 09:28 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Tuesday, August 25 2009
 After three trips in one month, all great but you know you have travelled a lot when you wake up and aren't sure where you are! Technical difficulties prevented me from posting my last couple of days away so I celebrate my first day at home with a final look at Granville Island in Vancouver and the wonderful people, places and surroundings who flavor it with creative flair and energy!

Duane with his first children's book about animals who live in Stanley Park and their adventures and publisher right in Granville Island!

Lovely couple and their children have a beautiful shop with painted stone floors in pristine white that complement the white flowing fashions and colorful wraps and shawls. Edgar performs for an enthusiastic crowd in the street while his son sells his CD's off to the side. The hauntingly sweet sound filled the air and drifted over the sparkling water.

There is always music in the streets and where there is music there is ...dancing!!!

Then there is the walk home along the sea wall where stone and rock are softened by the sea on one side and the lush green garden landscape on the other. Like a fairy tale floral decked stairs wind here and there around trees and through quiet spaces into flowery bowers. 
Thank you Granville for the JOY! Debra

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 09:28 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Thursday, August 20 2009
I spent another afternoon at Granville Island with a dear friend of mine. We took the mini Aquabus from the pier below my brother's place down to Granville Island, a ten minute ride in what resembles a mini tugboat at an amusement park. Water sparkling in the warm sun, it was a delightful way to get to the island. The aquabus runs every 15 minutes and for the daily walking commuters is their regular way home. Have your bike, there is a special cyquabus and on all pets are welcome as the dog population in downtown Vancouver is large. There are many beautiful and interesting artists shops where you can see the artists at work, glass blowers, clay and fabric artists. Each shop has a striking window display, a couple of them I photographed. The colors and textures are in contrast creating a striking balanced harmony. One clay artist Jasna Sokolovic has a delicate collage style combining color washed characters and words. She shares her studio space with a wonderful felt artist and their combined work makes for a unique shopping experience. A highlight of the day was to be able to chat to the artists along the way, Jasna, a sweet young woman spoke of the creative journey, of each piece taking on a life of its own and her original idea metamorphoses through the process to a distinctive finished piece. Birds, nature as in branches, trees, organic shapes, meaningful words and messages were a recurring theme in much of the art pieces throughout the shops.

Granville Island is my favorite place in Vancouver. The energy is always lively, food healthy and local, people of all ages wandering through the shops, galleries where almost everything is created or made right there. The artists share their vision, each purchase I made there had a meaningful story. I loved the organic clothing shop HALFMOON. Their locally designed and handmade t's and other pieces all come with their tag which is like a mini piece of art "reach high...dig deep and featured on many of their t's. On the back of the card "may you flourish and evolve", I picked up a t for myself with the Flourish design. Planning to do a lot of creative "Flourishing" over the next few years! 

Go forth & flourish friends! Debra CEO!

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 02:57 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, August 17 2009
I have had the luxury of a couple solitary days to experience Granville Island in beautiful Vancouver, BC. It is home of the Emily Carr University of Art & Design and a mecca of artists and craft studios and shops. A market serves up fresh organic produce, flowers and various delectable treats. I spent two inspiring days just wandering, met artists, musicians in a lively friendly atmosphere. Kids run and splash in the mini water park along the edge, tango dancing, buskers performing, the energy is lively, a sense of friendly community. The downtown area of Vancouver which runs along the water is home to 80,000 plus where walking the seawall, seabus and the sky train are the favored modes of travel.?

Watching artists at work, immersed in the creative process is around every corner at Granville. Catching Master Carver Rick Harry at work on a native totem piece was part of Sunday's wonderful wanderings! More from Granville all this week! 

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 10:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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Debra Quartermain Design

 Magical Mimi to Grandlittles, I love to create, decorate & celebrate. Sharing  joy and inspiration from our 200 year old home, Quartermain House B&B on the east coast of Canada.

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